Since I last presented a year-end videogame wrap-up for Boing Boing readers, it's become an exponentially harder task. The number of games released per day has - even just since 2014! - risen a few times over, so narrowing a list down means leaving amazing and creative work behind. That's not even to mention the herculean task of staying on top of the pile of games still unplayed.
2016 gave us a generous amount of powerhouse titles hoisted by massive budgets and massive marketing efforts: hello Overwatch, Dark Souls III, Doom, No Man's Sky, Pokémon Sun & Moon, and especially Uncharted 4. But I did my best to wander the far corners of the internet, searching and sometimes blindly stumbling upon weird, beautiful, thoughtful videogames.
Below you'll find 20ish games (actually quite a good number more) that sang to me the most, and I think exemplify the best that 2016 had to offer. You'll find interesting places to explore, unique achievements and re-inventions of old standards, and brilliant ideas executed simply. I hope you find them as surprising and delightful as I did.
by A.P. Thomson & Jenny Jiao Hsia • Get it: Windows/Mac/Linux
Beglitched is, on its face, a fairly simple match-3 type game, on the same family-tree branch as Bejeweled or Candy Crush or any other number of similar clones you may have spent all your idle moments thumbing around with on your phone over the past few years. Read the rest
SethBling says: "I built an Atari 2600 Emulator in vanilla Minecraft using a couple thousand command blocks." Download the world and watch the technical video here. Read the rest
Seth Bling built a functioning Atari 2600 emulator in Minecraft. Not just the processor, or the box, but the whole thing, complete with cartridges and a television. The white flashing line you see in it is the television's scanning electron beam being emulated. You can watch dirt blocks turn to stone and back: that's the ones and zeroes in the Atari's memory. You can edit the memory, bit by bit, by punching it!
It takes Minecraft about three minutes to draw each frame, but Bling recorded a timelapse of it in action. Click through to the YouTube for a download of the Minecraft world housing the emulator. Here's a technical explanatory video:
Previously: Extremely Mundane Places In Minecraft Read the rest
My daughter and I have been having fun with the latest Kano computer and coding kit, which comes with a screen. It's powered by a Raspberry Pi, a small Linux computer, and was created to allow kids to make games, music, and art through coding.
The operating system is already installed and comes with a bunch of fun applications and games, like Scratch and Minecraft. It has built in wifi and a Chromium web browser, and the small orange wireless keyboard has a touch pad. It plays YouTube videos and you could probably get away with using it as an everyday computer.
To "build" the Kano, you follow the simple, well designed instructions to snap pieces together. The manual describes the function of each component as you go along. Once you put it together, plug it in and you'll be taken on a candy-colored tour of Kano-land, where you can create an avatar and sign up for an account on Kano, so you can complete quests (like customizing a Pong game with a Scratch-like program called Kano blocks), and share and download your creations. There's a game called Terminal Quest that teaches Linux commands as "spells" to make things happen.
Check out Kano's Make Art website to give you an idea of what Kano's coding environment is like.
The Screen Kit is a 10" LDC 1280 x 800 display that's crisp and bright. You don't need the screen to use a Kano. If you want you can buy the basic Kano kit and plug it into any HD display. Read the rest
#1. 10-Ft MFi-Certified Lightning Cable: 3-Pack
With this deal, for the price of one Apple Lightning Cable, you get three ($21.99): now you can keep a cable at work, one in the car, and one at home, too. The cables are MFi certified, so they’re guaranteed to work perfectly with your Apple devices. And of course, their 10ft length means you won’t have to get out of bed or walk across the room to use your phone while it’s powering up. Finally—no more having to deal with a dead phone battery, no matter where you are.#2. Ultra Soft 1800 Series Bamboo Bed Sheets: 4-Piece Set (White)
There are a lot of ways to unwind after a long day, but our personal favorite is settling down to sleep on these ultra-soft, ultra-luxurious bed sheets. Bamboo Bed Sheets ($32.98) are made with a combination of bamboo yarns and microfiber, and come specially treated and pre-shrunk—so not only are they ridiculously comfortable, they’re crazy durable, too. One set includes a flat sheet, a fitted sheet, and two pillowcases.#3. Piper Computer Kit
The Piper Computer Kit ($279) gives you a real engineering blueprint that you can follow to assemble your own self-contained computer—which runs on the Raspberry Pi 2 Project Board. Once you’ve assembled your computer, you can access PiperUniverse, an educational Minecraft story mode that will deepen your understanding of computer engineering principles. The Piper Computer Kit makes the perfect present for kids and adults alike.Also explore the Best-Sellers on our network right now:
PythonPython Programming Bootcamp
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(Pay What You Want)Music + EntertainmentBrain.fm: 3-Year Subscription
($29) Read the rest
The Piper Computer Kit is an innovative kit that will not only teach you to build a computer, but help you truly understand how a computer works. You'll follow a real engineering blueprint to assemble your own self-contained computer—which runs on the small but powerful Raspberry Pi 2.
Once you’ve actually assembled the computer, you can learn computer engineering principles through PiperUniverse, an educational Minecraft story mode. With PiperUniverse, you’ll explore hardware components and challenges that will further strengthen your computer knowledge. Best of all, the micro USB comes preloaded with a Raspberry Pi version of Minecraft so you can celebrate your creation with some serious gaming.
Most importantly, the Piper Computer also functions as an actual Raspberry Pi computer, so there are limitless DIY projects you can explore from there. The Piper Computer may have been created to provide a controlled electronic learning environment for kids, but it's actually a really great and fun way for adults to get their feet wet in DIY.
For a limited time, you can get the Piper Computer Kit at a discounted price of just $279.
Explore more trending deals:10' Lightning-to-USB Cable: 3-Pack
($21.99)Universal Smartphone Shadow Mount
($9.99)FRESHeBUDS Pro Magnetic Bluetooth Earbuds
($39.95)CloudPress Professional Plan: No Coding Required
($44.99) Read the rest
Meme factory/Anonymous birthplace/alt-right breeding ground 4chan is facing challenges similar to those plaguing all ad-supported sites, but as with all things channish, 4chan's problems have their own unique and grotesque wrinkles.
Read the rest
A master minecrafter has given us the recursive video gaming experience we didn't know we needed! Amazingly he has made a working GBA emulator, inside Minecraft! The Gameboy works well enough to play "Pokemon Fire Red."
Read the rest
Nevertheless, it is still very much surprising when gamers continue to find ways to push the limits of Minecraft, and the latest achievement even gives a nod to another popular video game franchise that is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
A YouTuber who goes by the name Reqaug has built a fully functional Gameboy Advance within Minecraft, with the virtual mobile gaming console also capable of playing Pokémon Fire Red.
An educational edition of hit game/toy/epic/religion Minecraft
is in beta testing, reports The Verge
, and teachers are invited to get their hands on it early.
Minecraft: Education Edition is almost identical to standard Minecraft, but it includes a handful of features designed for the classroom. A couple smaller features were announced in January — like an in-game camera for taking screenshots — and some more substantial ones are being announced today. That includes adding in-game chalkboards that can display large blocks of text and letting teachers place characters that'll say things when a student walks up to them.
The biggest new feature won't come until September, when the game launches. It's called Classroom Mode, and it's essentially a control panel for teachers. Teachers will be able to use the interface to grant resources to students, view where everyone is on a map, send chat messages, and teleport people to specific places, which will be useful should students run off or get lost.
Classroom mode alone looks great for improving multiplayer in general:
Read the rest
If you're a Boing Boing reader with children, the thought of getting them into coding has probably crossed your mind. Summer is a great time to expose kids
to new interests, and coding is no exception. But unlike traditional summer camps, coding camps are less familiar territory, and often demand a high price
tag with uncertain outcomes.
A minecrafter, infered5, has decided to recreate all of Bungie's Destiny, inside of Minecraft. It is pretty amazing!
Kotaku shares the story:
Some Minecraft players like to build houses, or castles, or mazes full of monsters. Others prefer to recreate the entirety of Destiny.
Read the rest
Player infered5's pet project is to remake all of Bungie’s space dress-up sim in the blocky world of Minecraft, and he’s done a pretty good job so far. Check out this footage for a quick tour through Minecraft’s version of the Tower and even some of the Cosmodrome:
“We have the Cosmodrome built from the Steppes to the Divide, through the breach and through the Devils Lair, nothing Mothyards and beyond is made,” infered5 told me. “The Moon was made with worldpainter as a proof of concept, but has no underground areas. Very bland. The Cosmodrome was built by hand and has much more detail. The Tower and Reef are built in their entireties.”
Nintendo continues its long-running campaign of legal harassment against its biggest fans: this time, they're targeting fan-videos showing gameplay from the official, licensed Mario/Minecraft mashup pack for the Wii U.
Read the rest
Sonia Livingstone, an LSE social psychology prof, gives us a peek into the results from The Class, a year-long, deep research project into the digital lives and habits of a class of 13 year olds at an ordinary school.
Read the rest
Is this a restaurant? Bonus points for the unintentional Minecraft mobs sound effects. Read the rest
If you haven't already been introduced to the coolness of the Raspberry Pi, then it's really about time to catch up to the rest of us tech tinkerers.
For the uninitiated, the Raspberry Pi is a credit card-sized, single-board micro-computer that’s been opening up all kinds of programming possibilities for the tech-savvy learner. And right now, you can get the latest model - the Pi 2 - and everything you need to get going in the Complete Pi 2 Starter Kit, available for just $115 in the Boing Boing Store.
For such a tiny package, the Pi 2 packs some surprisingly powerful punch, including a Broadcom ARMv7 quad core processor (6x faster than the original Pi), 1GB of RAM and the compatibility to run lots of programs, apps...and basically do a lot more than you might expect.
But where the Pi 2’s DIY attitude really shines is in its versatility, offering the perfect training ground for any computer hardware and coding experimentation you’ve wanted to try.
In this package, you’ll also get the Pi 2’s Quick Starter Kit, including all the start-up accessories you’ll need like a power adapter, ethernet and HDMI cables and a Pi 2 enclosure. And just to make sure you're truly prepped, you’ll also receive five courses full of Pi background:Intro to Raspberry Pi: Your complete Raspberry Pi starter tutorial.Hardware Projects Using Raspberry Pi: Create Pi-controlled devices, including light detectors and motion sensors.Python Programming for Beginners: Master Python, the Pi’s most accessible programming language. Read the rest